There are many factors that play into a student’s decision making around undergraduate study. It’s no longer foreign to ask, ‘What should I study in university?’. In the midst of seemingly endless options and factors, how can one easily choose the right course or the right university for them?
One popular factor that parents and students often like to take into consideration is university rankings — they provide an inside look into a university’s teaching quality, learner engagement and skills development — that would otherwise remain a mystery.
Accompanied by a look into the jobs that are in demand in Australia — thanks to the release of the Skills Priority list in October 2021 — we take a look at the best universities that can prepare students for those occupations according to three factors or rankings that together make up a student’s experience:
- overall experience
- skills development
- learning resources.
The ratings and rankings below give an overview only, so we encourage you to undertake further research before choosing a course and campus. Factors such as a university’s location and student composition can affect the results.
Our university rankings defined
Find out about the three rankings we focus on in this article — overall experience, skills development and learning resources — and what they mean below.
This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the overall quality of their educational experience.
This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the skill development they experienced through their studies. It is based on the extent to which students felt their course developed their:
- critical-thinking skills
- ability to solve complex problems
- ability to work with others
- confidence to work independently
- written communication skills
- verbal communication skills
- knowledge of the field they are studying
- work-related knowledge and skills.
This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the learning resources provided by their institution. It is based on students’ average ratings of:
- teaching spaces (including lecture theatres, laboratories and tutorial rooms)
- student spaces and common areas
- online learning materials
- computing and IT resources
- assigned books and notes
- laboratory or studio equipment
- library facilities.
Revealing the 2022/2023 Good Universities Guide rankings just last month, we’re in a good place to help you, your child or your student — by breaking down the best universities in Australia for your child’s undergraduate interest areas in line with occupations that are claimed to be in shortage, and well into the future, by the National Skills Commission.
The Commission’s in-demand occupations list — the Skills Priority List — include nurse practitioners and registered nurses who specialise in diverse areas, from aged care to perioperative care, from community health to mental health.
Placed against our 2022/2023 Good Universities Guide rankings, we’ve identified a few universities you might want to consider for your, your child or your student’s undergraduate nursing study.
Avondale University, Edith Cowan University (ECU) and CQUniversity have emerged as our top institutions in this category, ranking highest in students’ overall experience in undergraduate nursing programs.
Avondale (placed first) and ECU (placed third) join a top three standing again, this time with University of Sydney ranking second.
With Avondale ranking first and ECU second, Murdoch University is rounding out the top three.
Geotechnical engineer, mining engineer and petroleum engineer join software engineer, mechanical engineering technician and ICT systems test engineer in the 2022 Skills Priority List. As are other engineering professions, these occupations are showing both a national shortage and strong national future demand.
We’ve ranked Southern Cross University (SCU), Charles Sturt University and University of Canberra as the top three institutions in this category, in that order.
SCU has maintained first place, followed by Federation University Australia and ECU.
Both SCU and ECU are again strong players in this category, placing first and third, respectively, and Federation ranking second.
Computing and Information Technology (IT)
Web developer, software tester and network administrator are in demand now and into the future, according to the National Skills Commission’s 2022 Skills Priority List.
ECU, University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) and Murdoch University have come on top in our rankings of universities in Australia.
Australian Catholic University is placed first, with ECU and University of South Australia (UniSA) ranking second and third, respectively.
Topping yet another ranking category for Computing and IT are ECU, Murdoch University and ACU.
Education and training
There is a strong national shortage in the teaching sphere, with child care worker, early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher, primary school teacher and secondary school teacher all featured in the Australian Government’s 2022 Skills Priority list.
ECU, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and UniSQ have topped our Australian university ratings and rankings 2022/2023 for undergraduate education study.
ECU has maintained its first place, followed by University of Sydney (ranked second) and Swinburne University (ranked third).
ECU is dominating the top position again, joined by fellow high achievers QUT and UniSQ.
The Commission has listed external and internal auditors as two professions with a ‘strong’ shortage nationally, and with ‘moderate’ future demand.
Bond University, ECU and UniSQ are ranked highest in students’ overall experience in undergraduate accounting study.
Bond University (first) and ECU (second) retain their top positions, with SCU placing third on the list.
Still, Bond University (first) and ECU (second) remain unmoved from their top positions, with UniSQ ranking third.
Although the professions listed by the National Skills Commission are estimated to remain in relatively strong future demand in Australia, it doesn’t mean that other tertiary courses are less valuable or fitting for you, your student or your child. Check out our blogs on how to choose the right course and the right university.Alternatively, check out our full rankings — detailing staff qualification, graduate salary and more — and gain a broader look into our 2022/2023 best universities. You can filter them by subject, level of study or even location.
As Australia's Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O'Connor says on The Courier Mail: 'As a nation we need to better value and recognise the importance of occupations suported by vocational education and training.
'We need to support people to do what they are good at and what they enjoy no matter what the pathway – whether it is VET or university.'